Text analytics & customer research data: a happy marriage?

Having recently been subjected to a rather bland online questionnaire from my local council on public services, I was equally unimpressed to have been approached a couple of times by clipboard hugging inquisitors at European airports this month.If we are adding to our full-fat butter-enriched data mountain with yet more yes, no, maybes – then a) what are we doing with this data?

Having recently been subjected to a rather bland online questionnaire from my local council on public services, I was equally unimpressed to have been approached a couple of times by clipboard hugging inquisitors at European airports this month.

If we are adding to our full-fat butter-enriched data mountain with yet more yes, no, maybes – then a) what are we doing with this data? b) is it of any use in the first place? and c) do the software development companies pumping out management tools in this space need a firm reality check?

A firm called Confirmit unashamedly labels themselves as ‘leading global vendor’ of software for customer feedback, employee feedback and market research. So what do they think they need to make meaningful use of my answer to the Easyjet survey lady this week: “The best thing about your in-flight service are your happy crew and the Wasabi-peanuts.”

Confirmit actually shares a bed with an outfit called Clarabridge, a provider of text analytics solutions that claims to improve customer experience management (CEM). I know, I know CEM, it sounds awful and cheesy – don’t turn off yet though.

Could text analytics inside research projects provide extra (and surely much needed) contextual insight for enterprises trying to number crunch data? Are these two complimentary technologies and should we be talking about them more naturally anyway?

My typically sardonic and obtuse survey responses serve to amuse myself for sure, so what’s the corporate line and response to that kind of feedback?

“Open-ended customer comments add a breadth and depth of context to feedback,” said Henning Hansen, president and CEO of Confirmit.

Open-ended moi? I haven’t even gotten warmed up yet sir. Anyway, carry on.

“Confirmit enables data capture through IVR, telephone, kiosk, handheld device, and paper scanning in addition to the web channel. Dashboard reporting delivers actionable, real-time insight. A sophisticated alert program notifies management of any unusually low scores so the problem can be resolved immediately,” so says the blurb.

So can over 50,000 business users using Clarabridge’s text mining software to stay competitive be wrong? I’d like to say yes, possibly – but that would be being deliberately sceptical.

Should developers working on analysis projects involving customer survey data take heed of the marriage between text analytics and customer research. I’d like to say yes again – but this time I’ll say it with full conviction.

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